The events platform Eventbrite wants to do its part to get people signed up to vote before November. So starting today, it will let event creators offer invitees a way to register to vote, with the help of the nonpartisan voter registration group HeadCount.
Here’s how it works. If you get an Eventbrite invite—for either a live or virtual event—you might see a ticket for the event itself, then another (free) add-on ticket that says “Register to vote with Headcount.” If you select that second ticket, you’ll get an email from Eventbrite with information on how to register to vote and check your voter status, as well as information on mail-in voting options.
HeadCount typically focuses on getting younger people registered to vote by setting up registration drives at live events such as concerts. The “Ticket to Vote” initiative, as Eventbrite and HeadCount are calling it, is meant to get eligible voters of all ages ready to vote. And Eventbrite’s long reach may make a difference. During 2019, some 949,000 organizers around the world created 4.7 million events on the platform.
HeadCount executive director Andy Bernstein says he believes the partnership with Eventbrite represents the first time anyone has integrated voter registration into the ticket purchases.
“The key to successful voter registration is about meeting people where they already are, so integrating into the ticketing process does that seamlessly,” Bernstein says. “When we are at an in-person concert we interact with a certain percentage of attendees. Through this method, we can interact with literally all of the participants before the event even happens.”
HeadCount got its start back in 2004 and says that it’s registered about 600,000 voters since then. A big chunk of those registrations–17,00o–came through a partnership with Ariana Grande’s Sweetener tour during 2019. HeadCount has also partnered with other big-time acts such as Drake, Jay-Z and Beyonce, Billie Eilish, and David Byrne.
Eventbrite and HeadCount cite U.S. census data showing that only 56% of the U.S. voting-age population cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election. They point out that lower voter turnout is often linked to confusion about deadlines, logistics, and election procedures. Voters who have not been active in recent elections, as well as younger voters, have proven hard to get to the polling station in the past.
This year’s presidential election is expected to draw record numbers of voters, but initiatives such Ticket to Vote are still needed to get less-engaged people and groups involved in the process—especially with the pivotal election coming up in November.